London 2019

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As I was telling you about, I have a school project on documentary photography and that brought me “all the way” to London. Did I mention I have two close friends living here and that it was my birthday on Friday? No? ‘Cause these two facts might have played a minor role in my choosing one of them as the person to follow over the course of three whole days . πŸ˜‰

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So let me give you a glimpse of my weekend in London. Not wanting to spend a fortune on it, since it wasn’t planned in advance, I was stingy on the tickets and I ended up taking a flight at 7:20- yes, AM! And so my night was ruined by the anxiety of not hearing the alarm and the prospect of having to wake up at 4:45! But then everything went fine and by 10 I was reunited with my friend Lavinia and heading to her place to catch up over coffee. She’d filled the fridge with lovely Mediterranean spreads like tapenade, baba ganoush and the Romanian zacusca and we had a real feast for brunch. Satisfied and no longer craving anything, I had a lovely restorative nap after which we went over to her sister’s where her sweet niece Nina (2,5 years old) couldn’t wait to blow the candles on the cake they’d baked for me! I was so touched I kept covering my mouth with my hand, like in the olden “messy teeth” period. πŸ˜‰ haha!

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After a slice of cake we went to an Italian corner restaurant where carbonara was just what my pregnant soul was craving. Nina sang me a Happy birthday song and I was so proud I would have shown my dimples had I had any. πŸ˜‰

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After such a full day, yesterday we took it nice and slowly for hours on end, had some coffee with the mini croissants filled with champagne cream that we both used to love in high school and Lavinia cooked us a “frugal” lunch of beans and smoked pork ribs that ended up making me look like I was 9 months pregnant instead of 4. πŸ˜‰

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We then took the subway to Hampstead and shopped for vintage wear at charity shops- so much better selection and so much cheaper than back home- had a cocktail (mocktail for my part) and a Caprese at this Italian franchise (but a nice one) and then headed for Hyde park to relax a bit in the sun.

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After watching joyous families having a picnic or feeding the ducks, we walked to the Kensington Gardens Pavilion where we had a lovely 5 o’clock tea on their terrace overlooking the Kensington palace. This is how much I enjoyed the sun on my face.

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After the tea, Lavinia went home to rest whereas I took the subway to Wimbledon Park and visited my old uni friend Camelia and her family. They were a bundle of joy and I ended up not only staying for dinner, but sleeping over, too. And since I’m the pregnant lady that needs to pee every 5minutes, they gave me their bedroom ensuite and I felt horrible about them having to sleep on the couch. :-/

Besides that we laughed so hard we almost cried remembering all the silly things we used to believe (and never stopped talking about) at 20 and how our friendship survived in spite of us not having visited each other more than a handful of times in all these years.

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Today it was all about food. Yet again. I started with banana pancakes for breakfast at Camelia’s, said good bye to her, the kids and her man and went to Russel Square where Lavinia was meeting her bestie over fluffy Japanese pancakes at Fuwa Fuwa.

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With a full belly, we walked for a bit and stumbled on this amazing photography exhibition of Gerty Simon where we paused for a few minutes and took in history. Β The drizzle started and so we took the subway to Marble Arch where we had an amazing Lebanese lunch at Al Balad – tabuleh, aubergine salad and chicken shawarma.

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On our way home I managed to take this amazing picture of my friend Lavinia and felt really grateful for such a glorious weekend away from chores and routine, although I miss my boys a lot. πŸ˜‰

xxx, Alina

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